Shortly afterbroke on Sunday, tributes began to flow in from . Countless figures and organizations around the world shared their grief, love and memories for Bryant, who was one of nine confirmed fatalities in the crash in Calabasas, California.
Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was also reportedly among the nine victims.
Among those to remember Kobe in the aftermath of the devastating news were some of his fellow Lakers legends. Bryant spent each and every one of his 20 NBA seasons as a member of the Lakers organization and he's considered to be one of the most iconic members to ever don the purple and gold, which is saying a lot. He's also the only Laker -- or NBA player for that matter -- to have two jersey numbers retired (No. 8 and No. 24) and hanging in the rafters of Staples Center.
Having made such an impact on such a prestigious franchise, some of Bryant's fellow Lakers greats felt compelled to share their emotions on Sunday afternoon.
An emotional Earvin 'Magic' Johnson took to Twitter and shared several posts reflecting on numerous aspects of Kobe's life, including basketball, his family, and contributions to the Los Angeles community.
As I try to write this post, my mind is racing. I’m in disbelief and have been crying all morning over this devastating news that Kobe and his young daughter, Gigi have passed away in a helicopter crash. Cookie and I are heartbroken. pic.twitter.com/X2vF0M0a1u— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 26, 2020
I love him, his family and what he stood for on the court and off the court.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 26, 2020
He gave his knowledge, time, and talent to tutor so many at the youth level, collegiate level, & NBA & WNBA players. Words can’t express the impact that he had on the game of basketball. I know basketball fans all over the world will miss him, especially the City of Los Angeles. pic.twitter.com/ZoB3Uwbvzk— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 26, 2020
He was such an icon but also did so much for LA. He was passionate about serving the homeless and was an advocate for women's basketball. Coaching his daughter’s basketball team brought him so much happiness.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 26, 2020
Kobe and I shared so many special conversations about life and basketball. We had so much in common off the court. I used to love talking to him about Lakers basketball, being fathers and husbands and how much we loved Italy. I will miss those conversations and him so much. pic.twitter.com/PIv7obzr2x— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 26, 2020
Laker Nation, the game of basketball & our city, will never be the same without Kobe. Cookie & I are praying for Vanessa, his beautiful daughters Natalia, Bianka & Capri, as well as his parents Joe & Pam & his sisters. We will always be here for the Bryant family. pic.twitter.com/WWxmtEAJqZ— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 26, 2020
We love you forever. #8 #24🙏🏾❤️— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 26, 2020
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar shared a video message reflecting on his relationship with Kobe (as well as with his father, Joe Bryant) and some of the moments they shared over the years.
Shaquille O'Neal won three NBA Championships alongside Bryant in Los Angeles and the two of them were considered one of the fiercest and most dominant duos that the league has ever seen. They shared a complicated relationship and a public fallout at the end of their time together in LA but eventually reconciled and continued to share a friendship. After Kobe's final game in 2016, Shaq called Bryant "the greatest Laker ever."
O'Neal took to Twitter to post a heartfelt message about Kobe and Gianna on Sunday.
There’s no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my neice Gigi & my brother @kobebryant I love u and u will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW pic.twitter.com/pigHywq3c1— SHAQ (@SHAQ) January 26, 2020
Kobe was so much more than an athlete, he was a family man. That was what we had most in common. I would hug his children like they were my own and he would embrace my kids like they were his. His baby girl Gigi was born on the same day as my youngest daughter Me’Arah. pic.twitter.com/BHBPN5Wq8V— SHAQ (@SHAQ) January 26, 2020
Lakers legend Jerry West also shared his thoughts on the tragic news. West, who is now an executive board member with the Clippers, was the Lakers general manager when the team trade Vlade Divac to the Hornets to acquire Kobe shortly after the 1996 NBA draft.